The European Commission proposed on March 27 to make 75 million euro from the EU budget available to help member states repatriate EU nationals and to increase the budget of the RescEU medical stockpile, the Commission said.
European Commissioner Johannes Hahn, in charge of the EU budget, said: “Today’s measure is yet another illustration of how the EU budget can add value when and where needed the most. It is also an illustration of European solidarity and cooperation at its best.”
European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “The safe return of our citizens is a priority. We are doing all we can to ensure they are reunited with their families as soon as possible during these difficult times.
“I would like to thank member states for their efforts during this process. Our Emergency Response Coordination Centre continues working 24/7 with member states in order to meet their requests,” Lenarčič said.
Thanks to repatriation flights organised through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism and co-financed by the EU, a total of 2312 people have been already repatriated to Europe from China, Japan, the US, Morocco, Tunisia, Georgia, the Philippines and Cabo Verde since the beginning of the outbreak, the statement said.
More than 80 further repatriation flights are planned in the coming days.
This European Commission proposal will increase the total budget of the first ever rescEU stockpile of medical equipment (ventilators, protective masks and essential medical gear) to 80 million euro, the statement said.